Town Hall Success
Residents Respond to “Growing Pains”
About 40 people attended Transition Sooke’s virtual Town Hall “To Grow or Not to Grow, Developing a Liveable Sooke in a Climate Emergency” on Saturday June 26.
The Town Hall began with the video “Growing Pains,” which featured Sooke residents talking about their community and the impacts of growth on it. Participants then went into small groups to talk about the film, growth in Sooke, and what to do about it. Discussion was lively, participants were full of ideas, and attendance included several members of the District of Sooke’s advisory committees and two councillors.
Proceedings of the Town Hall will be available on this page soon. There will be a second Town Hall in late August/early September.
To watch the video “Growing Pains” on YouTube, see below or go here.
Does Low Carbon Resilience (LCR) put Climate First?
The District of Sooke recently adopted Low Carbon Resilience (LCR) as “a green lens that balances the co-benefits of environmental, economic and social determinants and aligns with Sustainable Development Goals” and is supposed to address greenhouse gas emissions of new projects and help the community meet its target.
Transition Sooke had offered up a Climate-First approach (see below). Read here why we think the District’s approach is problematic.
Alternative Low Carbon / Low Growth Scenario for OCP
The growth scenarios (Scenarios A – C) proposed by Dialog in the Official Community Plan (OCP) engagement process assume that Sooke would double its population to 25,000 residents in the next 30 years. Transition Sooke has estimated that the increase in local greenhouse gas emissions and loss of carbon sink arising from that rate of residential growth would set us back seriously from meeting our climate emergency goal.
With the climate emergency in mind, Transition Sooke is proposing a fourth Scenario D, a much more sustainable and liveable scenario based on “low carbon/low growth” and a future that protects the citizens of Sooke and does not mortgage the future of the younger generation.
Scenario D was recently sent to members of the OCP Advisory Committee for their consideration. Download Scenario D here.
A news release was issued to Victoria-area media. Read it here.
What is Climate-First?
Transition Sooke’s OCP and Climate Action Team prepared a document that defines the concept of climate-first and submitted it to Sooke Council. If Sooke is going to meet its climate emergency goals, it needs to ensure that a climate-first approach is taken in all municipal decision making and planning processes including the Official Community Plan (OCP). Read the Climate-First Definition here.
Presentation to OCP Advisory Committee
On February 25, 2021, Alan Dolan and Susan Belford of Transition Sooke’s OCP and Climate Emergency Team, made a presentation to the District of Sooke’s OCP Advisory Committee (see below), which is one of a number of committees providing advice to Sooke Council.
The carbon emission numbers in the presentation are based on the Capital Regional District’s Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Report, Stantec (2020) and Capital Region District – Municipalities and Electoral Areas 2007 Base Year and 2018 Reporting Year Energy & GHG Emissions Inventory, Stantec (2020).
One of the first things Sooke needs to do as part of a Climate Action plan is develop better numbers for Sooke’s emissions.
If you find the presentation confusing or daunting or just not understandable, all you really need to remember is that:
- In 2019, Sooke supported the CRD Declaration of a Climate Emergency with a goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.
- If we build more houses in Sooke and fill them with 2.5 people per house and they do what people do — heat their houses, cook and eat, travel, etc. — even if the new houses are super energy efficient (which most of them won’t be) there will be an increase in greenhouse gas emissions
- If you combine this increase in emissions with the emissions from existing buildings, houses and vehicles, we will not meet our climate emergency goal.
- We need to drastically reduce our emissions eventually to zero, if we want to truly address the climate emergency.
- The loss of the carbon sink, which disappears when you develop houses on land with soils, trees and other vegetation, makes it a “double whammy,” a lose-lose, that goes on forever.
Presentation to Sooke Council
Since August 2020, a group of Transition Sooke volunteers has been meeting to determine how best to ensure that Climate Change is addressed in Sooke’s Official Community Plan (OCP) review.
On September 14, 2020, volunteer Susan Belford of the OCP and Cimate Action Team made a presentation at a regular meeting of Sooke Council.
Meeting with Dialog Consulting
On October 28, 2020, members of the OCP and Climate Emergency Team met briefly with Dialog, the Vancouver consulting firm undertaking the OCP, along with Sooke’s planners. We followed up with additional written feedback.
Notes from the meeting and the follow-up feedback can be downloaded here.
OCP Video Stars
Want to be a video star?
The District of Sooke is drafting an Official Community Plan (OCP) to guide and direct development over the next ten years. Transition Sooke wants to reach out to a broad range of citizens (youth especially!) and find out what they think.
We have a series of short questions and we are asking Sooke residents of all ages to make videos of their answers. What do you like about your neighborhood? What don’t you like? What do you think of the rate at which Sooke is growing?
If you don’t want to do your own selfie, we have been out in the community with our video camera and if you want to know were will be next, please email Alan.
Transition Sooke will highlight some of the video results on social media and will use others to stimulate discussions at an online Town Hall meeting. To learn more about Transition Sooke’s OCP Video Stars, please send an email to Alan.
Download guidelines for being an OCP Video Star.
To get involved in the OCP and Climate Team, contact Susan.